[PD] definitions of data types

Frank Barknecht fbar at footils.org
Wed Feb 8 19:53:06 CET 2006

Martin Peach hat gesagt: // Martin Peach wrote:
> Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> >It is entrenched so it probably won't change anytime soon.  But I do  
> >think that Pd could work without "list" and "symbol" selectors.  Then  
> >symbolic atoms would automatically be symbols and any series with 
> >more  than one atom would automatically be a list.  You can then have  
> >separate inlets to handle different situations, like the first inlet  
> >handling config messages like [set 1 3( and the second inlet handling  
> >lists that are meant as only data.
> >
> I guess separate having data and program buses like that would mean that 
> pd had a 'leaky' Harvard architecture because there would be no way to 
> ensure the connections were made to the correct inlet.
> Another approach would be to have another kind of patch cord for control 
> messages, like the signal cords on the dsp objects.

Actually I think, that all this would just complicate issues much more
than necessary. Apart from a slight linguistic confusion regarding the
term list (and somehow symbol) I really don't see any grave practical
problems with the way things currently are. (Except the symbol-table,
but that might be an implementation issue?) The linguistic problems
only are a problem when talking about the symbol or lists in a casual
way. However once the rules are understood (Hans and I both tried to
explain them in a concise way) they are easy to *work* with. C++ is
much harder.

And personally I wouldn't want to always have to write "float 1"
instead of "1" in messages as I wouldn't want to have to type "list 1
1 0" just to describe a Gem-color so I'm really glad that both
selectors can be implied when numbers are involved - as numbers are
the bread and butter in Pd. Just enforcing a float-selector for the
sake of consistency is wrong, IMO. There must be much better reasons,
before such a step should be made.

As I wrote in PdMessages, I would propose to talk about float-,
symbol- and list-MESSAGES when it is important to describe them in
detail. I also like the term meta-messages for "other" messages,
which don't have to be a multi-element series, they can also be a
single element item as "reset" (without "symbol"!). 

 Frank Barknecht                 _ ______footils.org_ __goto10.org__

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